Dozens of MPs and Peers, including Toby Perkins MP for Chesterfield and Staveley, celebrities and campaigners gathered in Parliament to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the UK becoming the first country to ban fur farming, and to urge the UK Government to ‘finish the job’ by banning fur imports and sales.
Two decades after the last fur farm was closed down, the UK continues to allow imports of fur from animals farmed and trapped overseas, creating an unacceptable double-standard. If fur is too cruel to produce here, it is too cruel to sell here, argue the campaigners. The parliamentary reception saw FOUR PAWS UK release a new report demonstrating the scale of abuse inherent in the trade and the role the UK continues to play in this cruelty. To illustrate the UK’s complicity in fur cruelty, HSI/UK released new footage of multiple fur farms in China, revealing the extreme suffering endured by raccoon dogs, mink and foxes for fur fashion. Government data shows that the UK imports millions of pounds worth of fur from China every year. The shocking scenes from HSI/UK’s investigation showed baby animals kept in filthy, barren conditions, with many of the older animals found to be exhibiting signs of mental distress such as pacing and circling their tiny cages.
Toby said, “In 2003, the previous Labour Government banned fur farming and demonstrated the UK’s strong and unequivocal ethical stand against fur. Sadly, we are now outsourcing our cruelty overseas and the Government have reneged on previous commitments to ban fur imports. The vast majority of the British public are against this cruel and barbaric trade and we need a complete ban on the import and sale of fur in the UK.”
Over 1.1 million people have signed a petition in support of a #FurFreeBritain. The Government ran a consultation on the UK fur trade in May 2021 which amassed 30,000 responses, but has still not released the results.
Sonul Badiani-Hamment, FOUR PAWS UK Country Director, said, “Globally, the UK is lagging behind and propping up a dying industry. In 2021 Israel became the world’s first country to prohibit the sale of fur and 12 US towns and cities have also banned fur sales. And it’s not just governments taking action; from the runways to the high street, the fashion industry has been leading the way for decades, with retailers and consumers alike shunning the cruel and exploitative fur trade.
As we mark two decades since fur farming was banned in the UK, it is high time we fully address the UK’s role in what is left of the fur trade and stop importing and exporting cruelty for good. Only by embracing a Fur Free Britain can we help save the lives of millions of animals who are needlessly killed for this abhorrent trade.”